Licensing Law

Drunk customers? New video shows how pubs and bars can avoid breaking the law

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Video: how pubs should handle drunks
Video: how pubs should handle drunks

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Ethanol, Alcoholism

Pub and bar staff have been reminded that it is illegal to serve drunk people and against the law for customers to purchase drinks for an inebriated friend in a new video. 

The five-minute film clip, developed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and National Pubwatch, aims to raise awareness around the licensing laws after a YouGov poll of more than 2,000 adults found that more than one in four (27%) did not believe it illegal to knowingly serve alcohol to someone who is drunk. The findings also showed that 40% were unaware that it is illegal for a customer to buy alcohol for someone under the influence.

Bullet point examples of the law are peppered throughout the footage, which shows a female bartender dealing with a couple of drunk customers who question her decision to stop serving them.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “We are delighted to have worked with National Pubwatch to create this new film, which I’m sure will help raise awareness of the law and aid licensees, who can be put in a very difficult position and risk breaking the law if pressured to serve drunk customers.

"Serving drunks has long been illegal and, in the vast majority of cases, pubs are safe and responsible venues where drinks are served in a highly supervised environment by well-trained staff."

'People unaware it's an offence' 

Steve Baker, chairman of National Pubwatch added: “Many people are unaware that it is an offence to knowingly buy alcohol for someone who is drunk. I hope our work with the BBPA will go some way to raise awareness of the law and reduce the risks associated with drunkenness.”

Related topics: Licensing law

Related news

Show more


Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

The MA Lock In Podcast

Join us for a Lock In


Subscribe to The Morning Advertiser

The definitive voice for the pub trade

Get the latest news, analysis and insights from the uk pub sector straight to your inbox!